The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

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9780193113343: The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

From panpipes, to the agogo bell, to the tuba, musical instruments have formed an integral part of the cultures of the world. Their range and diversity--including the simplest of spoons as well as the complex pressure systems of a pipe organ--have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. Now, in The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments, Anthony C. Baines provides a comprehensive guide to the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western musical instruments.
Each entry in this lavishly illustrated book offers a concise description of the instrument, as well as a wealth of information on such subjects as playing techniques, harmonics and circular breathing, the sound of an instrument, acoustics, pitch, an instrument's use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within ritual, and significant developments in its history. Baines covers a vast array of instruments, from the common cowbell, to the Red-hot fountain pen (a novelty instrument of the 1930s), to the Celtic harp. For instance, he discusses how the bladder pipe (a relative of the bagpipe) uses a pig's bladder, and tells how it is deodorized (with ammonia) and kept pliable (with brine). And in his entry on Antonio Stradivari's violins, he attributes the success of these prized instruments, not to age, or to choice of materials, but to good fortune. (Stradivari arched the body of his violins less than was common at the time, and when he later altered their necks, the Strads luckily responded well to the change.) Baines also includes general articles on the instruments of specific periods, such as the Renaissance or Baroque, as well as the instruments of individual continents. We learn, for example, that the countries from Burma through Thailand, Kampuchea, and Vietnam, to the Philippines, North Borneo, and Indonesia, are grouped musically as gong-chime cultures from the variety of gongs and gong chimes used over most of the area. And we even find separate entries on fakes and forgeries, walking stick instruments, and scrapers such as the domestic washboard.
With numerous illustrations, musical examples, an appendix of makers mentioned within the text, and full bibliographical details, The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments is an invaluable source on the splendid variety of musical instruments, based on a lifetime of scholarship.

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From the Back Cover:

Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book is a celebration of that achievement, examining in one alphabetical sequence the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western acoustic musical instruments. Individual entries encapsulate the essential information about the instrument considered. Each entry offers a concise description and, with the aid of numerous line drawings, illustrates details of its construction. Playing techniques are also discussed and major entries draw attention to significant developments in the history of the instrument. Dr Baines also deftly conveys the sound of the instrument and highlights characteristic examples of its use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples elucidate these points and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over one hundred photographs. There are general articles on the instruments of specific periods, such as the Renaissance or Baroque, and the instruments of individual continents are considered as an entity. Instruments are also treated by family (woodwind, etc.) and by other common groupings, such as orchestra, brass band. In addition the book deals with a whole range of related subjects, for example acoustics, pitch, chord symbols; methods of playing, such as harmonics, circular breathing; and also such topics as fakes and forgeries and oddities like walking-stick instruments. There is an Appendix of makersmentioned within the text and full bibliographical details are provided for the books and other sources cited. In all, this book bears witness to the author's lifelong passion for musical instruments in all their splendid variety and is distinguished by his elegant prose and scholarship.

About the Author:


Anthony C. Baines was Curator of the Bate Collection of Historical Instruments at the University of Oxford. He was a founding member of the Galpin Society, formed to promote the study of musical instruments, and editor of its journal 1956-63, and from 1971.

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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1992. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book celebrates that achievement and examines in a single A-Z sequence the astonishing variety of acoustic instruments throughout the ages. Each entry provides a concise description of the instrument itself, its construction, development, and playing techniques, together with details of its sound and use within the orchestra or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples highlight these points, and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over two hundred photographs and figures. General articles cover instruments by period, continent, family, and other common groupings, such as orchestra and brass band, while there is wide coverage of related topics, including pitch, chord symbols, forgeries, and oddities. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780193113343

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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1992. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book celebrates that achievement and examines in a single A-Z sequence the astonishing variety of acoustic instruments throughout the ages. Each entry provides a concise description of the instrument itself, its construction, development, and playing techniques, together with details of its sound and use within the orchestra or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples highlight these points, and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over two hundred photographs and figures. General articles cover instruments by period, continent, family, and other common groupings, such as orchestra and brass band, while there is wide coverage of related topics, including pitch, chord symbols, forgeries, and oddities. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780193113343

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